Less than a week ago, a series of shorts was announced by The Pokemon Company. This is probably done for buildup until Sun and Moon are released, but I adore the art and focus so far. The episodes focus on filling in the story of the games, such as Lance’s fight with the Red Gyarados. The animation is similar in quality to the Pokemon Origins, which was released when Pokemon X & Y were released. I have only two regrets at the time of this writing: the fact that the episodes are extremely short (3-5 minutes), which leave me wanting more, and the possibility that the ideas between Generations and Origins will not be made into a serialized adventure.
Obviously, the first short is made for nostalgia, and in my case, it succeeded. I love the Pikachu’s voice and how it steadily grows at a more natural pace than Ash’s Pikachu (it shows difficulty with a Caterpie in it’s first battle, and eventually comes close to putting a Volcarona through a wall later). I’m a little disappointed that the Trainer isn’t Red, which is shown with the save screen name “Trainer”, and his choosing Bulbasaur instead of Charmander in the beginning. In any case, it’s made clear that the Trainer and the Pikachu are extremely well bonded and powerful, as they survived several encounters with legendary beasts. The music flows almost seamlessly as well. Finally, I’ve noticed people complaining that the Pikachu sounds different. This is probably to give it a more realistic sound, along with the sounds the other Pokemon in the series have made so far.
This particular short focuses on something the original games and remake overlooked; where were the International Police when Giovanni was found? The police became more prominent in later games, and the franchise as a whole is famous for retconning every so often to include new and updated concepts. I found the uses for Pokemon in the raid to be interesting, like Magnemite disarming an alarm before breaking in. The plot helps to tie in Giovanni’s determination to return during Gold and Silver (specifically noted in HeartGold/SoulSilver). The nostalgic music gives the situation a mysterious feel that fits perfectly with the raid.
I just have one unanswered question at this point; why isn’t Nintendo funding a more elaborate series of this quality? Is it the cost of production? Are they betting on Sun and Moon sales to bolster the money for the production of this series, along with ad revenue? I can’t do anything but speculate at this time. The series also appears to leave the fans with a more coherent story while leaving plenty of room for imagination that the series has relied on for years. If anything, it reopens questions we’ve had for years. For instance, how does the Pokemon League operate if it allows an organized crime boss to run a sanctioned gym? I used to complain that the lore wasn’t elaborated on enough, but now I understand why Nintendo chose not to do so. Perhaps with a more accessible site like YouTube, the fanbase can make it clear that they want a serialization of an anime like this.